March 30, 2023
WGBC CEO UPDATE
FEDERAL BUDGET 2023 OVERVIEW:
The biggest announcement for the Canadian wine industry is the one-year 2% cap on the excise duty annual inflation indexation. Alcohol excise duties are automatically indexed to total Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation at the beginning of each fiscal year (i.e. on April 1). The excise duty on wine, therefore, was due to increase by 6.3%, which would have been the highest increase of the excise escalator yet for the industry. The excise rate will be $0.702 per Litre (it was scheduled to be $0.731 per Litre).
This is a significant outcome for our industry and the result of extensive advocacy by Wine Growers Canada with support from Wine Growers British Columbia as well as other regional and industry associations across the country. READ THE BUDGET OVERVIEW.
BC WINE INDUSTRY SUPPORTED BY NEW CANADA-BC PARTNERSHIP:
BC farmers and food processors will receive increased food security support over the next five years through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP). A new agreement between the governments of Canada and British Columbia, Sustainable CAP is a $3.5-billion, 5-year agreement (April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2028), to strengthen the competitiveness, innovation and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector.
The Sustainable CAP is expected to assist the B.C. wine grape sector through new and enhanced programs and funding that includes climate change adaptation, preparedness and mitigation; domestic and international marketing and research, innovation and technology. LEARN MORE.
WGBC’S ‘THE PULP’ E-NEWSLETTER
Wine Growers British Columbia’s (WGBC) launched a new trade e-newsletter, The Pulp.
With close to 7,000 subscribers, The Pulp provides both on and off-premise trade professionals with the inside scoop on industry events, marketing and education opportunities in support of BC Wine.
Read the latest issue of ‘The Pulp’
APRIL IS BC WINE MONTH
Wine Growers British Columbia and the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food are delighted to announce the provincial government proclamation of April 2023 as BC Wine Month (#BCWineMonth).
The sixth annual April is BC Wine Month celebrates four weeks of local 100% BC wine that includes consistent consumer messaging across channels and the province as proven and effective in increasing sales.
Celebrate BC Wine Month by:
- Download & Share our Visual Assets, tag @WinesofBC and use #BCWineMonth #BCWine
- Add our GIFs & Stickers to your social media stories, simply search ‘BC Wine’
- Get certified with Wines of BC Ambassador Program Level One online here use promo code BCWineMonth
- Get certified with Wines of BC Ambassador Program Level Two in person, check here for dates & locations
Visit a Pour More BC Restaurant crafting BC wine experiences around local cuisine
March 13, 2023
WGBC CEO UPDATE
UPDATE: TESA AUTHORIZATIONS EXTENDED UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2024
At last week’s BC Wine Industry Insight Conference BC LCRB General Manager David Hume alluded to an announcement made official on Friday, March 10, of an extension to the existing Temporary Expanded Service Area (TESA) authorizations to December 31, 2024.
WGBC worked in partnership with industry associations to secure this extension. We extend our sincere thanks to government for understanding the importance of extending this deadline for industry. Without this extension, many wineries would be faced with removing their temporary tasting areas just as the busy summer wine tourism season begins.
TESAs have played a key role in pandemic recovery, enabling wineries to create or expand outdoor service areas, giving customers more space to taste and enjoy their wine. Moreover, BC wineries’ successful implementation of TESAs is helping WGBC make the case for a ‘single-site’ endorsement allowing for site-wide tasting and by-the-glass at the wineries’ discretion and responsibility.
While WGBC continues to advocate to unencumber BC wineries, if you have an extended service area under the TESA authorization, you must apply for a permanent structural change to make this a permanent fixture of your establishment. Structural change applications can take up to 10 months to process, so we strongly encourage you to start the application process now.
You can find more information on how to apply on the LCRB’s website.
2023 BC WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT CONFERENCE
Wine Growers British Columbia, in partnership with the BC Wine Grape Council, BC Grapegrowers’ Association and the BC Wine Authority were pleased to host this year’s 5th Annual BC Wine Industry Insight Conference in Penticton.
The purpose of the sold-out conference was to provide an informative overview of the current and future state of the wine industry from experts in the field. If you attended, we’d love your feedback on this year’s event and appreciate your input to assist with next year’s planning.
Please consider taking 5 minutes to complete this anonymous online survey for access to the Insight Conference 2023 speaker presentation files.
PROMOTING THE RIGHT AMOUNT
As a WGBC member, you will have read about Wine Growers Canada’s The Right Amount campaign. As we see more and more developments both domestically and internationally seeking to further regulate beverage alcohol – particularly in terms of mandating labelling to include health/cancer warnings, standard drink and nutritional content information, the Right Amount Campaign aims to educate the consumer on responsible alcohol consumption.
The Right Amount offers a host of information for consumers, from tips on drinking in moderation and a standard drink calculator, to a range of resources for wineries.
On February 15th, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Carolyn Bennett, said she supported industry voluntarily educating Canadians about standard drinks to help consumers make informed choices. Further, she confirmed her support for increased public education on standard drinks. Whether your wine business shares The Right Amount campaign via social media (images and shareable text can be easily accessed here), or engages consumers in your tasting room with moderation or standard drink collateral, a little can go a long way. All of these are available for your use via the design resources hub here.
UPDATE: EXCISE TAX ESCALATOR
WGBC is continuing to voice our concerns along with WGC to the federal government over the 6.3% excise duty increase, scheduled for April 1, 2023. Such an increase would see the excise rate on wine over 7% alc./vol. increase from $0.688/ Litre to $0.731/ Litre, over and above the inflationary and supply chain cost increases impacting producer costs.
On behalf of the Canadian wine industry, WGC continues to meet with a range of federal decision-makers and consumer organizations to gain support for our recommendation that the Government of Canada either temporarily suspends the legislated inflation indexation of the excise duty on beverage alcohol for two fiscal years or implements a legislated annual inflationary cap of no more than 2% annually.
February 2, 2023
WGBC CEO UPDATE
2023 BC WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT CONFERENCE
Wine Growers British Columbia, in partnership with the BC Wine Grape Council, BC Grapegrowers’ Association and the BC Wine Authority, are thrilled to host the annual Insight Conference for the BC wine industry. This year’s theme, ‘Forward Momentum in the BC Wine Industry’ encompasses an exciting and relevant line up of speaker sessions, insight presentations, and workshops designed to fortify and inspire BC wine industry professionals to ignite forward momentum – together, our industry is stronger.
REGISTRATION NOW LIVE
Tuesday, March 7 – 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre
View the agenda >
Meet the Speakers >
UPDATE: BC DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION
On January 31, British Columbia decriminalized the personal possession of small amounts of certain drugs. This means that, beginning January 31, adults will not be subjected to criminal charges for the personal possession of small amounts of certain illegal drugs, and the drugs will not be seized.
Licensed establishments, including wineries, are responsible for creating their own policies regarding on-site consumption with the LCRB providing an FAQ to help understand what decriminalization means for your business.
If you have any questions, please email LCRB.Outreach@gov.bc.ca
UPDATE: WINE SECTOR SUPPORT PROGRAM
Most wineries have or will shortly receive their first year WSSP payment. The second year production will be based on the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. As such, Wine Growers Canada has been actively engaging with Members of Parliament, Ministerial offices and has met with the federal Deputy Ministers of Finance, Agriculture and Industry to ensure that an extension to WSSP is included in Budget 2023.
Some WSSP Grant Payments are at risk according to AAFC officials, dozens of Canadian wineries have yet to return their signed WSSP grant agreements. WSSP grant funds must be allocated by the end of the federal fiscal year. Any grant agreements that have not been processed by March 31, 2022, will be denied payment.
If you have not submitted your signed WSSP grant agreement, please do so as soon as possible. If you have not received the agreement, please check your e-mail (including your junk mail and spam folders) or contact your WSSP program officer or contact the program via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 1-877-246-4682.
UPDATE: CANADIAN CENTRE ON SUBSTANCE USE AND ADDICTION (CCSA) REPORT
On January 17th, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) released its final report ‘Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health’, with recommendations for government review. It is important to note that the new CCSA report has not been accepted by the federal government and has not replaced the existing Low Risk Drinking Guidelines.
As broadly published in the media, the CCSA Report presents Canadians with a risk continuum, indicating that 0-2 standard drinks a week is low risk, 3-6 standard drinks per week is moderate risk, and 7 or more standard drinks per week represents an increasing level of health, cancer and disease risks. This represents a significant departure from the previous guidelines (maximum 2 drinks per day or 10 drinks a week for women, and no more than 3 drinks a day or 15 drinks a week for men).
The federal response to the report to date has confirmed that it is committed to efforts that address alcohol harms, that are informed by evidence-based research. Wine Growers BC supports Wine Growers Canada in their work to provide this information both to the Minister and to Canadians using global experts to ensure the development of effective policies to reduce harms and understand the risks associated with harmful use including The Right Amount.
THE RIGHT AMOUNT CAMPAIGN
The Right Amount is an interactive website that promotes responsible wine consumption. It is an approachable and informative site, complete with a standard drinks calculator and tips for consumers.
What’s more, the site has a whole range of ready-to-use design resources for wineries to promote this message of moderation. The resources range from neck tags (that read ‘Wine Pairs best with moderation’) to postcards that could be used in your tasting room, to photos and images that you may consider using on your social media to direct your customers to The Right Amount website. We encourage BC wineries to participate in this voluntary initiative – feel free to download all design resources or a selection that best fits your needs.
January 19, 2023
WGBC CEO UPDATE
UPDATE: LOW RISK DRINKING GUIDELINES
On January 17, 2023 the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse and Addiction (CCSA) released their final report and recommendations to the federal government to update Canada’s 2011 Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (LRDG).
The report and recommendations will be presented to the federal Ministers of Health and Mental Health and Addictions for consideration to updating the LRDG. The focus is on responsible consumption with “moderate risk” defined at 7 or less standard drinks per week, and recommended regulations requiring warning labels on beverage alcohol containers. There is no timeline for government response and no requirement for action.
Prior to the report, Wine Growers Canada (WGC) research found that there is a common misconception that a glass of wine represents a standard drink of alcohol. The reality is that the alcohol content in wine can vary from less than 10% to over 20% alcohol by volume (ABV), and pour size can also vary significantly from 3oz to 9oz, or more.
Accordingly, in November 2021, WGC launched The Right Amount campaign as an initiative for Canadian wineries to promote responsible consumption of alcohol, providing Canadians with tools and information to make informed and responsible decisions about alcohol, and promote drinking wine in moderation.
The campaign drives consumers to The Right Amount website which contains public low risk drinking guidelines and resources, the definition of a standard drink, as well as an innovative drink calculator that will determine the number of standard drinks in a glass or bottle based on volume and alcohol percentage.
The CCSA report is a reminder for wineries to participate through the free online industry resource hub which offers voluntary promotional materials, website wordmark for use on labels or neck tags, standard drink logos designed for voluntary use on-label; digital and print-ready assets for use in tasting rooms, etc., all highlighting the importance of drinking in moderation.
The Right Amount campaign is designed to be long-standing, and grow organically over time, strengthened by the participation of all wineries across Canada to become an industry standard practice. Industry-wide participation is required for The Right Amount to be truly effective in engaging Canadian consumers and promoting the responsible consumption of Canadian wines. Wine Growers British Columbia encourages all member wineries to participate.
If you are receiving media inquiries on the final CCSA report and recommendations, or have any questions, please refer them to email@example.com.